NHL Rumors: Sabres, Bruins, Hurricanes, Flyers, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Buffalo Sabres are considering a depth addition to their roster. Meanwhile, Brad Marchand is returning for the Boston Bruins, and is well ahead of schedule.

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The Carolina Hurricanes are shopping Ethan Bear and it was learned the defenseman requested a trade, plus the Toronto Maple Leafs have reportedly placed Jake Muzzin on LTIR to give themselves options.

Sabres Looking for Additional Depth

Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams told reporters including Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, that the team might look for some additional help after Mattias Samuelsson and Henri Jokiharju went down to injuries. Samuelsson will miss several weeks and Jokiharju is week-to-week with a facial fracture after being hit with the puck.

Mattias Samuelsson Buffalo Sabres
Mattias Samuelsson, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Adams said the team is considering adding an NHL-level defenseman, but downplayed the addition being anything major. The team has a ton of cap space and could afford to take on a more expensive contract and potentially get a sweetener at the same time. The contract they add would likely have to be expiring at the end of the season, but they could go out and add a bigger-ticket player.

Bruins Getting Marchand Back

After telling reporters on Wednesday that Brad Marchand wasn’t quite ready to return but was closer, head coach Jim Montgomery updated reporters on Thursday that Marchand will actually get into the lineup and will play Thursday night against the Detroit Red Wings. Montgomery also noted that Marchand won’t go with the team on the road as they travel to face the Columbus Blue Jackets. They don’t want to give him too much, too early.

Brad Marchand Boston Bruins
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Marchand spoke with reporters and said that he always knew the timeline they gave him for his return was much later than he anticipated it would take to get back. Still, a whole month earlier than expected is quite a pleasant surprise for Bruins fans. The Bruins are 6-1 through the early part of the season and this will only help them build momentum.

Ethan Bear Requested a Trade

Elliotte Friedman noted in his latest 32 Thoughts column that defenseman Ethan Bear actually requested a trade out of the Carolina Hurricanes organization this offseason. The team is still looking at moving Bear but have not found a trade they like.

Related: 3 Bruins at Risk of Losing Roster Spot When Injured Players Return

The Vancouver Canucks have shown real interest, while the Washington Capitals were also rumored to be interested around the draft. The Toronto Maple Leafs could also be poking around and with news that the Buffalo Sabres are trying to make a depth addition, it would be fair to add them to the mix.

Friedman reports that the Hurricanes are not willing to retain any portion of his $2.2 million salary for this season to facilitate a trade.

Couturier Not Ready Yet

Flyers’ head coach John Tortorella told reports that forward Sean Couturier is not ready to resume skating yet with the team and Jordan Hall of NBCS Philly points to this as an unfortunate setback since Couturier said he was feeling good in his recovery while getting on the ice. Tortorella said the forward is “just not ready” to continue his rehab and has stopped skating. He called him a very frustrated young man.

The Flyers have had some bad news on the injury front as the team is also without Cam Atkinson (upper body), James van Riemsdyk (broken finger), and Patrick Brown (back).

Maple Leafs Want Flexibility

Friedman noted in his column that the Maple Leafs placing Jake Muzzin on LTIR was about the team having options. He writes, “Jake Muzzin on long-term injured reserve is also about roster flexibility, but it’s an indication that the team and player are going to be very careful here — as they should — and a recognition they have to prepare for the possibility he won’t be back anytime soon.”